Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia: one tough cookie

Far be it from a snowboarding wipeout to stop Lt. Joe Garcia from performing a variety of duties.

Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia talks to the University of Colorado Board of Regents with a sling on his injured shoulder. (Michael Carrigan photo)
Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia talks to the University of Colorado Board of Regents with a sling on his injured shoulder. (Michael Carrigan photo)

The crash happened on Feb. 13 in the Grand Tetons when Garcia was snowboarding with his youngest son. Garcia couldn’t get in to see a surgeon until nearly a week later, on Feb. 19, to repair his separated shoulder and torn ligaments.

“I’m still staying pretty busy,” said Garcia, who doubles as Colorado’s lieutenant governor and director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, posts he plans to give up before July 1.

Garcia had planned the trip to Wyoming to see his 26-year-old son Jose a long time ago. “My youngest son was telling me how great the snowboarding was,” Garcia said. The trip turned out to be on the same day as the Colorado Democratic Party’s Jefferson Jackson dinner, which is why Garcia missed speeches by presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

“But we ended up in a bad situation,” he said today of the outing. “It was unbelievably foggy whiteout conditions where we couldn’t even see the ground I was standing on. It was very disorienting. ”

Garcia said he didn’t even know he was falling until he hit the icy ground “so hard” he realized right away that his shoulder was “popped.”

Denver Rep. Dan Pabon: “We believe in each other”

Speaker Pro Tem Dan Pabon, his wife Heather and their 3-year-old son Alec at the House District 4 spaghetti dinner in north Denver Saturday night.
Speaker Pro Tem Dan Pabon, his wife Heather and their 3-year-old son Alec at the House District 4 Democratic spaghetti dinner in north Denver Saturday night.

You just know a Democratic spaghetti dinner in north Denver is going to be tasty because of the neighborhood’s Italian heritage, and you know the keynote speech is going to be good when Speaker Pro Tem Dan Pabon has been tapped for the honors.

Pabon urged fellow Democrats to support the party’s presidential nominee, no matter the candidate they currently are backing.

“That’s how we are going to keep Michael Bennet in the United States Senate so he can vote up or down any Supreme Court nominee nominated by the president — no matter his or her party,” Pabon said during the House District 4 fundraiser Saturday night. “It’s how we are going to take the Colorado Senate, keep the Colorado House and how we are going to elect a Democrat to the White House.”

Two hot open races in Denver — for Denver district attorney and the University of Colorado regent in Congressional District 1– helped bolster turnout at the House District 4 dinner in the Highlands Methodist Church basement. Forty more people than had RSVP’d showed up to support Democrats and eat chef Jim Okerson’s meatballs and Italian sausage.

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Pueblo: home of heroes and a harmonious legislative delegation

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and state representatives Daneya Esgar and Clarice Navarro of Pueblo show off the salsa they received for talking to the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Pueblo class Thursday at the University Club in Denver. (Secretary of State)

Pueblo’s up-and-coming leaders met with their lawmakers and other elected officials, including Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, during a visit to the state Capitol on Thursday.

The visitors are part of the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Pueblo 2016 class that began in January with a two-day retreat in Trinidad and ends in May.

Lobbyist Patrick Boyle addressed the Leadership Pueblo class about the role of lobbyists at theCapitol. At a lunch at the University Club, he said the Pueblo delegation is unique among the lawmakers because despite partisan differences the focus has always been on helping folks in their southern Colorado community.

Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, echoed that sentiment. “I have colleagues jealous of the work we do together,” she said.

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Secretary Wayne Williams helps honor legendary civil rights attorney

An Alabama attorney whose clients included Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. received a prestigious honor recently, and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams couldn’t be happier.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and civil rights legend Fred Gray. (NASS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and civil rights legend Fred Gray. (NASS photo)

Williams voted for attorney Fred Gray of Alabama to receive the National Association of Secretaries of States’ Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award for political courage. Gray was recognized at NASS’ winter conference in Washington D.C. last week for his lifelong service to civil rights.

“I proudly accept this award on behalf of all the clients who, during the last 61 years, trusted me to handle their legal cases. Many resulted in breaking down the walls of segregation and changing the landscape of America — with an impact around the world,” Gray said, according to a NASS news release. “I am pleased to continue to fight for equal justice, until all of God’s children are truly free.”

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Secretary Wayne Williams welcomes new American citizens, talks about the importance of voting

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, center, listens as third graders from Graland Country Day School sing at today's naturalization ceremony at History Colorado.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, center, listens as third graders from Graland Country Day School sing at today’s naturalization ceremony at History Colorado.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams welcomed 49 new American citizens from 25 countries today at a naturalization ceremony at History Colorado.

“It’s an exciting day,” Williams told the immigrants, who clutched American flags and beamed for the cameras. “You have an equal right to participate with someone who might have lived here for 93 years. Your participation is what makes this nation different. The people get to make the decisions.”

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